Vanilla-infused strawberries and a macadamia nut praline add another dimension to Adam Byatt’s take on a classic mille-feuille dessert. This elegant layered pastry dish makes a perfect summer dessert and makes the most of deliciously ripe strawberries.

For the crème diplomat, begin by making a crème pâtissière. Whisk together the egg yolks, flour and sugar

Place the milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and combine with yolk mixture whilst whisking continuously. Slowly return the custard to the boil in a clean pan whilst continuing to whisk. Then remove from the heat and leave to chill until completely cold

Once cooled, sieve the mixture into a bowl. Carefully fold 400g of the crème pâtissière through the whipped cream. Store in a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle until ready to serve

For the strawberries, boil the water and sugar with the vanilla pods and seeds until the sugar has dissolved to form a vanilla syrup. Set aside and leave to cool

Thinly slice the strawberries and remove the stems, reserve a few whole strawberries for garnish. Then vacuum pac the strawberries, or put them in a resealable bag, with 100ml of the vanilla syrup. Leave to infuse

For the praline, caramelise the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan with a little water and heat, without stirring, until it reaches a dark colour (the colour needs to be fairly dark or the dish will be too sweet)

Stir in the toasted macadamia nuts and pour the mix onto a silicone mat or baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. When it is cooled and set, finely chop the praline into small pieces

Through a pasta machine roll the puff pastry down to the thinnest setting (or roll very thinly by hand). Cut down into appropriately sized sheets and leave to set in the freezer

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

Once the pastry has set, cut out pastry discs using a 6 inch round cutter - you need at least 8 (2 for each dessert) but it is good to have some spares in case of accidents

Heavily dust the disks with icing sugar and place in the oven between two silicon baking mats or trays (to keep them flat) for around 12 minutes. After they have cooled, dust with some more icing sugar

To assemble, place the vanilla strawberry slices on a serving plate in a circle, then pipe the crème diplomat around the outside

In the middle of the strawberry circle add a spoonful of the chopped praline and place a pastry disc. Repeat to create layers with a pastry round on top. Add a final dusting of icing sugar. Garnish with the reserved strawberries and serve

Vanilla strawberries

  • 400g of strawberries
  • 100ml of water
  • 100g of sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

Crème diplomat

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 150g of sugar
  • 80g of plain flour
  • 550ml of whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split with seeds scraped out and reserved
  • 400g of double cream, whipped to soft peaks

Macadamia praline

  • 100g of macadamia nuts, toasted
  • 200g of caster sugar

For the mille feuille

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • icing sugar, for dusting